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Hassan Gouled Aptidon
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World Leader
    (October 15, 1916-November 21, 2006)
    Born in Garissa, Somalia
    Prime Minister of Djibouti (May 1977-June 27, 1977)
    President of Djibouti (June 27, 1977-May 8, 1999)
    He smoked heavily.
    He turned Djibouti into a one-party state by declaring his own party, People’s Rally for Progress, as the sole legal one (1981).
    His government was dominated by his own ethnicity, the Issas, which led to resentment among the Afars that led to a civil war (November 1991-December 1994).
    After introducing multiparty rule, he excluded the Afar-led party Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (1992-1994).
    He helped with Djibouti’s struggle for independence.
    Some people felt that He turned Djibouti into a haven for refugees fleeing drought and political upheaval in its neighbors.
    He also helped keep stability in Djibouti for most of his rule.
    He was an admirer of Charles de Gaulle.
    Though a supporter of independence, he dissociated himself with pro-independence demonstrations when de Gaulle visited Djibouti, even if he liked such movements (1966).
    He tried to ban the drug khat, but this was opposed by many Djiboutians (1977).
    He eventually formed a multiparty system (1992).
    He strongly supported the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an organization that fights droughts.

Credit: Big Lenny


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